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Spring, 1990 

US ISSN 0040-6406 

by James Dawson 

How do you pronounce the name Thoreau? 
Most everyone pronounces it incorrectly. 
New Englanders accent the first syllable 
while everyone else accents the last. Nearly 
everyone, that is. The citizens of Thoreau, 
New Mexico say Thru. What is correct? 

In his THE ANNOTATE© WALDEN, Phillip Van 
Doren Stern decided to settle the question. 
He wrote, "Although millions of people say 
Thoro', they pronounce the name incorrectly. 
The citizens of Concord — who should know 
because the Thoreau tradition has made a 
lasting impression on the town — say Thurrow, 
as in furrow." (1) T. Morris Longstreth 
"Thoreau is pronounced thorough in his na- 
tive region as Henry lived his name, that is, 
thoroughly." (2) Van Doren Stern and Long- 
streth agree with each other. WEBSTER'S NEW 
COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY says that both furrough 
and thorough are pronounced the same — that 
is, that the u in furrow and the o in thor- 
ough are pronounced like the u in urn. Puns 
and tradition aside, is this correct? Act- 
ually — no. 

If you walk around Concord, you will hear 
the name pronounced two ways: Thur'-ro 
(or Thorough) and Thor'-ro with the o pro- 
nounced like the o in more. Concordians 
can't even agree. Canby may have noted 
this in his biography THOREAU when he wrote 
"Henry David Thoreau (pronounced in the Con- 
cord of that day tho'row or thorough)." (3) 
I can't find that Emerson or any of Thoreau 's 
early biographers made any pronouncements 
on the subject,, but some of his friends had 
trouble at first. When Bronson Alcott met 
Thoreau for the first time in 1839, he spelled 
the name phonetically in his journal as 
Thorough. (4) However when Hawthorne met 
Thoreau in 1842, he seems to have heard the 
name differently. He wrote, "Sept. 1st 
Thursday. Mr. Thorow dined with us yester- 
day." (5) No agreement here — we seem to be 
back to Thurrow and Thor-ro. 

The name is French. I asked a French- 
woman, an English teacher, on her first 
trip to America how the name was pronounced 
in France. She didn't know — she only knew 
the American pronunciation. Would Thoreau 's 
pronunciation have been French or American? 

An unnamed classmate of Thoreau 's settles 
this question only to add more confusion. 
Answering a newspaper query on the subject, 
he wrote, "Whoever pronounces Mr. Thoreau 's 
name as "thorough" pronounces it barbarously. 
His ancestors were French, but he never 
pronounced his name as a Frenchman would, 
omitting the sound of the h, but accented 
the last syllable, Thoreau or Tho-row."(6) 
Now we have seven pronunciations counting the 
French and the New Mexican: Thur'-ro, Thur-ro' 
Thor'-ro, Thor-ro', Tho-ro', Tor-ro ' and 
Thru. This is certainly a record for varia- 
tions of an author's name. 

The Thoreau Society, Inc., is an informal 
gathering of students and admire?s of Henry 
David Thoreau. Thomas Blanding, president; 
Eric Parkman Smith, Treas.; and Walter Hard- 
ing, sec. Address communications to the sec- 
retary at 19 Oak St., Geneseo, N.Y. 14454. 
Dues: $20; students, $10; family, $35; bene- 
factor, $100; life member, $500. Dues 
should be sent to the Thoreau Society, 156 
Belknap St., Concord, Mass. 01742 where the 
Society sponsors the Thoreau Lyceum. 

How did the Thoreau family pronounce 
their name? In 1880 someone sent the news- 
paper clipping to Maria Thoreau for her com- 
ment. She answered, "A few days since I 
receiv'd a note. . .wishing me to answer this 
Query respecting the name Thoreau. But as I 
have borne the "barbarous" as well as the 
ludicrous pronunciation of it for so many 
years I think I will let the controversy 
settle it." (7) Although Aunt Maria seemed 
to be fed up with the subject, she did agree 
with the classmate that the pronunciation 
Thorough was "barbarous," however Tho-ro' 
with the last syllable accented was "ludi- 
crous." This leaves us with Thor'-ro. 

How did Henry Thoreau pronounce Thoreau? 
Perhaps we get a clue in CAPE COD when he 
playfully compares himself with a viking: 
"But whether Thor-finn saw the mirage or 
not, Thor-eau, one of the same family did." 
(8) Thor'-ro, not Thur'-ro, Thor-ro' or 
Tho-ro'. I believe this settles it. 

Actually, we don't say the name exactly 
as H.D.T. did. Channing wrote that Thoreau 
had a peculiar way of pronouncing his r's 
as if they had a slight burr to them. (9) 
Thoreau would have pr-r-ronounced his name 

(1) Stern, Philip Van Doren. THE ANNOTAT- 
ED WALDEN (New York: Clarkson Potter, 1970), 
p. 3. 

(2) Longstreth, T. Morris. HENRY THOREAU, 
AMERICAN REBEL. (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1963) 
p. 140. 

(3) Canby, Henry S. THOREAU (Boston: 
Houghton Mifflin, 1939), p. 3. 

(4) Canby, p. 458. 

(5) Harding, Walter. THOREAU, MAN OF 
CONCORD (New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 
1960), p. 154. 

(6) Todd, Mabel Loomis. THE THOREAU 
Heights, N.J.: Oriole Press, 1958 ), pp. 20- 

(7) Todd, p. 21. 

(8) Thoreau, Henry D. CAPE COD (Boston: 
Ticknor £. Fields, 1865), p. 178 

(9) Channing, Ellery. THOREAU, THE POET- 
NATURALIST (Boston: Roberts Bros., 1873), 

p. 2 . 

1 1-1-53 


For some years now there have been rumors 
circulating that Henry Thoreau was the inventor 
of raisin bread. The earliest printed state- 
ment of these rumors that I have been able 
to find was in a column by Ann Batchelder in 
the September, 1943, LADIES HOME JOURNAL 
where she says, "It was over a hundred years 
ago that Thoreau, the one-time nature hound, 
left the trees and brooks long enough to 
invent raisin bread ! " Where she got the 
idea I have no notion, nor does she give 

any source. 

When in 1965 I published my DAYS OF HENRY 
THOREAU, I mentioned these rumors because, 
as I said in the introduction, "I have not 
hesitated at times to introduce what I was 
almost certain was apocryphal, keeping in 
mind Thoreau's own statement in his sketch 
of Sir Walter Raleigh — 'It does not matter 
much whether the current stories are true 
or not, since they at least prove his re- 
putation. ' " 

Frankly I was strongly suspicious of the 
Batchelder statement because I thought in- 
serting raisins into bread must have been 
common long before Thoreau's day, but I 
was unable to prove it. I was pleased 
therefore when recently in conversation 
with Lisa Whalen, domestic arts supervisor 
at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass., 
to have her confirm my suspicions. She 
told me that adding raisins to bread dough 
was commonplace even as early as Elizabethan 
England and cited as an example a recipe in 
THE COMPLEAT COOK published in London by 
Tyler & Holt in 1671 (p. 14). 

She then went on to explain that in those 
days such concoctions were usually referred 
to as "plum cakes"--"plum" then being a 
generic term for any dried fruit and "cake" 
being a term for any pastry made from dough 
and filled with fruit. Thoreau himself 
used the term "plum cake" frequently (See, 
for example, CORRESPONDENCE, p. 623). He 
often took plum cakes with him on his ex- 
cursions as an easy way to pack a good deal 
of food energy into a small space. Having 
somewhat of a sweet tooth, he probably 
packed them with more raisins than usual. 
Concord housewives, who delighted in being 
shocked by Thoreau's antics, probably in- 
advertently gave him improper credit for 
inventing raisin bread. 



cast new and different spells on me, fore- 
most of which was the desire to work with 
ideas — to be a teacher. 

As a teacher I expressed my admiration 
of Thoreau's writings and his ideas so con- 
vincingly that one of my school newspaper 
staffs surprised me with an end-of-the-year 
gift of the two-volume set of Thoreau's 
journal . 

I joined the Thoreau Society, the Lyceum, 
and the Thoreau Foundation, relishing the 
opportunities to read the latest ideas 
about Thoreau. In fact, I relived the early 
history of the society, sprawled out on the 
floor nightly, reading the bound copies 
of the first hundred numbers of the bulletin. 
It captivated me with the magical air of 
the founding of Fruitlands, and I felt 
that I was somehow a part of those early 
years of the society, just by reading the 
old bulletins. 

My enthusiasm has carried over into my 
teaching, too, where Thoreau often comes 
up as an example in our study of vocabulary, 
or in an examination of a poem, or wherever 
else an analogy seems apt. At times I've 
noticed that this motif-like return to 
Thoreau allusions creates a special bond 
within a class. 

When I neared the completion of my mas- 
ter 's degree in English, I took an independent 
study on Thoreau, and this caused me to 
appreciate Thoreau's WEEK so much that I 
chose it for the topic-.of my thesis, which 
argued that Mircea Eliade's ideas on the 
myths of archaic man can be used to view 
Thoreau's WEEK as a redemptive myth. 

Other teachers have seen my interest in 
Thoreau, and one colleague even presented me 
with my very own rock taken from beside 
Walden Pond. 

'— Z. % lZ^- 10-31-53 

r~ ~ 


[Ed. note: This is another in our series 
on discovering Thoreau. We would welcome 
similar short essays from any of our mem- 
bers who have had unusual experiences in 
personally discovering Thoreau.] 

Shortly after I turned 19 (when I didn't 
know beans), I started carrying around a 
Signet edition of WALDEN, not realizing the 
impact that it would have. For several 
weeks I read and re-read the book, dog-ear- 
ing the corners with my rough but earnest 
treatment. Before long I looked at my 
world and my life with new eyes, and I put 
my sports car up for sale. 

My girlfriend didn't like the changes 
she saw; my parents didn't understand, but 
new vistas opened up for me, and literature, 
philosophy, and nature were transformed, 
and I decided to plant my first garden. 
Of course, with repeated readings, WALDEN 


Albom, Mitch. "Lawrence DeLisle's Quiet De- 
speration." DETROIT FREE PRESS. Jan. 14, 
1990. Today's desperate life. 

Arnett, H. "A Motorcycle at Walden." CYCLE, 
40 (Oct. 1989), 16. 

Balota, N. "Walden" in UNIVERSUL PROZEI . 
Bucuresti : Editura Eminescu, 1976. Text 
in Romanian. 

Dec. 1988. 

Dean, Bradley. "An Orthodox Response to 

LETTER [TRN], I (Jan. 1990). 

"The Reverend Daniel Foster: A Bib- 
liographical Study." TRN, I (Jan. 1990). 

"Thoreau's Illness of 1855." TRN, 
I (Jan. 1990). 

Dedmond, Francis B. "The Selected Letters 
of William Ellery Channing the Younger 

RENAISSANCE 1989, pp. 115-218. 38 let- 
ters from Channing to various people, 
including several to HDT), from 1836-44, 
which often shed light on Thoreau's ac- 
tivities, all carefully transcribed and 
annotated in the style we have learned 
to expect from both Dedmond and SAR. 
The start of an important edition. 
Fleck, Richard F. "The Bird Journal of So- 
phia, John, and Henry David Thoreau." 
87 (1987), 489-508. 
Foster, Edward Halsey. RICHARD BRAUTIGAN. 
Boston: Twayne, 1983. Pages 63-5, a 
as a parody of WALDEN. 
Hansen, Olaf. "Henry David Thoreau" in 

TELLECT. Princeton Univ. Press, 1990. 
pp. 123-40. "The relentless pursuit of 
reality, as we find it exemplified in 
Thoreau's journals, is the aesthetic 
answer to nature's diffidence." 
Chap. 11, trans, into Japanese by Koh 
Kasegawa. SHI TO SAMBUN, 47 (Jan. 10, 
1990), 5-15. 
Harding, Walter, editor. THOREAU AS SEEN 
1989. xxiii + 245pp. Paperback. This 
revised and expanded republication of 
THOREAU: MAN OF CONCORD (1960) presents 
more than 200 valuable impressions of 
Thoreau the man — impressions recorded 
in first-hand accounts by Emerson, Horace 
Greeley, William Dean Howells, James Rus- 
sell Lowell, Ellery Channing (of course!), 
the Alcotts (Bronson and Louisa May), 
Whitman, Hawthorne, and some ten dozen 
or more of his other neighbors and towns- 
men, acquaintances and friends, class- 
mates and associates : people who knew 
Thoreau well and people who had met him 
but once, people who liked him and people 
who didn't. There is a new preface (in 
addition to the original), a new biblio- 
graphy, and an index (the last lacking 
in the original book). Valuable new 
material is drawn from Edward Emerson's 
notes for his book on Thoreau (unearthed 
by Harding during the early 1960s), some 
of it heretofore unpublished; from the 
diaries of John Shepard Keyes; and from 
miscellaneous other writings (for which 
Harding duly acknowledges the contribu- 
tions of other contemporary toilers in 
the field of Thoreau studies). The im- 
mediacy, variety, and (yes) charm of the 
accounts are the book's great strength. 
And, despite discrepancies due to the 
writers' biases for or against Thoreau, 
the unique, multifaceted personality of 
this enigmatic man shines forth as bril- 
liantly here as it does from every sen- 
tence he everwrote, making it all but 
impossible to mistake the man they de- 
scribe for Ralph Waldo Emerson, in spite 
of some invidious comparisons offered by 
supporters and detractors of Thoreau a- 
like! It is good to have all of these 
primary documents in print, easily a- 
vailable for reference, for edification, 

aye, even for pleasure. Every Thoreau- 
vian — scholar, "enthusiast," or otherwise 
— will want to own this important new 
volume. — E. A. Schofield. 


Tokyo: Ohshisha, 1988. Text in Japanese. 

Nash, Roderick. THE RIGHTS OF NATURE. 
Univ. of Wise. Press, 1989. Includes 
extensive comments on Thoreau's part in 
the fight for the rights of nature. 

TION] Tokyo: Kirihara Shoten, 1989. 
xi, 186pp. Text in Japanese. Preface by 
Koh Kasegawa. A study of chrystal images 
in Thoreau's works. 

Patterson, Randall. "How the County Failed 
Henry Thoreau." HILLSBOROUGH [N.C.] 
NEWS OF ORANGE COUNTY. Feb. 14, 1990. 
Satire: Thoreau finds it tough living in 
a modern suburb. 

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Petroski, Henry. THE PENCIL. New York: 
Knopf, 1989. "An American Pencil-Making 
Family," pp. 104j-25. By far the most 
detailed and authoritative study yet of 
the Thoreau family pencil business, with 
much additional material not included in 
his earlier magazine essay. 

Pinkston, Joan. "Thoreau and Current Trends 
in the Teaching of Writing." ENGLISH 
JOURNAL, 78, (Nov. 1989), 50-2. 

Saffron, Inga. "Yo, Bard; School's Not Hard." 
teaching Thoreau in the public schools to- 

Sattelmeyer, Robert. THOREAU'S READING. 
Review: AMERICAN LITERATURE, Oct. 1989. 

Shinbo, Satoru. [THOREAU, HIS LIFE STYLE]. 
Kyoto: Hokujusha, 1989. 198pp. Text in 
Japanese. Research into Thoreau's way 
of thinking on both nature and religion, 
relating it to the works of Donne, Blake, 
Goethe, Schopenhauer, and both Christian 
and Zen thought. 

Thoreau, Henry D. CAPE COD [Princeton edi- 
tion]. Review: A B BOOKMAN'S WEEKLY, 
Aug. 7, 1989 j ENCOUNTER, May, 1989. 


THE WORLD. [Eliot Porter photographs]. 
Review: AMERICAN FORESTS, July, 1989. 


Introduction by George Woodcock. Chica- 
go: Charles H. Kerr. 1989. 40pp.. 
$3.95. A handy, well-printed, inexpensive 

WALDEN. Trans, into Romanian by 
Stefan Avadanei & Al. Pascu. Forward by 
M. Gradinaru. Biographical notes by 
Don Eulert. Iasi : Juniraea, 1973. 


into Romanian by A. Museiu from the French 
of M. Fabulet. With an introduction by Karl 
Federn, with Emerson's essay on Thoreau, 
and notes by Francis H. Allen. Bucaresti : 
BIblioteca Revistei Ideei, 1936. 


Photographs by Jill Sabella. New York: 
Stewart Tabori & Chang, 1989. Unpaged. 
$9.95. A beautifully printed little 
"gift book" edition of quotations from 
the essay. 

Todd, Richard. "The Food of Love," NEW ENG- 
LAND MONTHLY. (Jan. 1990), 24-5. HDT is 
corrupted by a present-day dinner planner. 

Vickery, Jim Dale. "Wilderness Visions." 
BACKPACKER, 17 (Oct. 1989), 30+ 

Cambridge Univ. Press, 1989. p. 17 discusses 

Thoreau' s influence on American attitudes 
towards their forests. 
Yasinski, Nick. "Swimming in Walden." VIR- 
GINIA LITERARY REVIEW, 9 (1989), poem. 

We are indebted to the following for informa- 
tion sent in for the bulletin: C. Adams, C. 
Ander son, D.Barto,T.Blandi ng, J. Burger, J. Daw- 
son, B. Dean, F.Fenn,L. Fergensen, M.Ferguson, W. 
Johnson, D . Kamen-Kaye , D . Lionel , K . L j unqui st , 
M°l'denhauer , E . Schof ield ,M . Shanks ,M . Sperber , 
J.Welch, and L. Willis. Please keep the sec- 
retary informed of items he has missed and 
new ones as they appear. 


(Xerox copies of the full dissertation may 
ordered from University Microfilms, 300 
N Zeeb Rd., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48106. 





SO DAI V44I01). SECA. PP168. 

AB This dissertation is the first thorough examination of the 
literally thousands of death references in Thoreau's writings. It 
chronologically traces the development of his final view of death as 
a symbol of and a means to spiritual immortality. Along the way, it 
points out a few inconsistencies between this view and some of his 
other death-related ideas. But more importantly, it looks at how 
this view affected him as a writer and helped him face his own 

Chapter one begins with a brief, selective history of New 
England attitudes toward death from the landing of the Pilgrims in 
1620 urSil Thoreau's birth in 1817. It then looks at his early 
indirect contact with death prior to the death of his brother, John. 
in 1842. It examines his as yet untested attitudes toward death in 
his early writings--his college essays, an obituary, and his 1837-41 

Chapter two describes John's death and Thoreau's traumatic, 
psychosomatic reaction. It then traces his gradual recovery as seen 
in his letters, poetry, 1842-49 journal, and A Week on the Concord 
and Merrimack Rivers. It also looks at his more general views on 
death and his experimentation with death imagery in his 1842-49 
journal, his Dial essays. "Resistance to Civil Government," and A 

Chapters three and four discuss his use of death-related ideas 

and imagery in his writings from 1850 through 1854 and from 1855 
through his posthumous publications. Chapter three looks at his 
1850-54 journal. "A Yankee in Canada," "Slavery in Massachusetts, 
and Walden; chapter four, his 1855-61 journal, his John Brown 
essays "Autumnal Tints." "Walking". "Life without Principle . The 
Maine Woods, and Cape Cod. Chapter three records his acceptance of 
death as a symbol of and a means to spiritual immortality; chapter 
four examines the presence of this view in his final writings. 
Chapter five reviews his lifelong interest in other peoples 
deathbed scenes and his admiration for the heroic death. It then 
sketches his final illness, ending with his triumphant death in May 
of 1862. 



CREDENTIALS by Lawrence Buell (Abstract 
of a 1989 MLA Lecture). 

Thoreau's scientific credentials have 
been a subject of continual debate, owing 
in the first instance to his own conflicting 
pronouncements on the role and value of 
science and to his ambiguous position in 
the scientific community of his day. As 
Thoreau devoted himself more seriously to 
scientific study, he paradoxically became 
more astringent toward science's myopic 
vision. As a member of the New England 
scientific community, his primary visible 
role was that of specimen collector — a 
role increasingly identified with the 
fringes rather than the vanguard of scien- 
tific progress — yet he absorbed Darwin 
before many of America's prominent scien- 
tists did and in retrospect might be seen 
as prophetically in advance of the taxon- 
omy-oriented mentality that still dominated 
mid-19th century science: as a precursor 
of as-yet-unbaptized disciplines like ecolo- 
gy, limnology, and phenology. 

The question of the place that science 
ought to be seen as occupying in Thoreau's 
thought and work has also been viewed very 
differently at different points in the his- 
tory of Thoreau scholarship. Thoreau's 
reputation as a writer, especially in 
America, was chiefly nurtured by late 19th- 
century literary naturalists whose patriarch 
he increasingly seemed. When he was incor- 
porated into the American literary canon 
at the turn of the century, it was chiefly 
on the basis of his stature as the Ameri- 
can writer as scientist. Within a few de- 
cades, however, this aspect of Thoreau has 
been eclipsed by the images of Thoreau as 
social radical and/or as literary craftsman, 
both of which tended to marginalize Thoreau 
the natural historian. 

Given this drift in the first half-century 
of Thoreau's reputation as a canonical fig- 
ure, it is striking that the last decade or 
so has witnessed, for a variety of reasons, 
a rehabilitation of something like the 
earlier image of the scientistic Thoreau. 
Some obvious signs of this are renewed at- 
tention to his natural history writings and 
the two most recent major biographies by 
Richardson and Howarth. Equally striking, 
however, has been the rate at which Tho- 
reau's work has been cited by practicing 
scientists (cf. Robin McDowell's two TSB 
notes and Harding's VQR essay). A number 

of these citations are window-dressing, 
but the more substantive among them add 
up to a rather impressive picture of Tho- 
reau 'S stature as a figure that a number 
of scientists are glad to claim him as a 
fellow worker. This quasi-acceptance of 
Thoreau by the scientific community should 
not inspire complacency in literary schol- 
ars, however; on the contrary, it should 
inspire renewed efforts within our disci- 
pline to define Thoreauvian aesthetics, 
and the aesthetics of nonfiction generally, 
in a way that is capacious enough to in- 
clude scientific discourse. 



We are grateful to Robert Galvin for pro- 
viding us with copies of the following two 
RECORDS (rcccXLIX, 297) concerning the Tho- 
reau family's financing of what they always 
called their Texas House, which they built 
on what is now Belknap Street just beyond 
what is now the Thoreau Lyceum. The Texas 
House was badly damaged by fire and wind in 
the late 1930s and was eventually torn down 
in the 1950s. Another building has since 
been erected on its site. 

In 1844, when the railroad from Boston 
first reached Concord, a station was erected 
on its present site on what is now Thoreau 
Street. David Loring purchased the adjacent 
Heywood farm and opened it up for real es- 
tate development. 

Although the Thoreaus had moved to what they 
called the Yellow House on Main Street (what 
is now known as the Thoreau-Alcott House) in 
1850), they continued to own the Texas House 
for many years, renting it out to various 
tenants such as the Wassons and the Robinsons. 
The first document records the purchase 
for tweaaty-f ive dollars of the three-quart- 
ers acre lot from Loring; the second records 
their mortgaging it two days later for 
five hundred dollars to Augustus Tuttle 
to buy lumber and supplies for the build- 
ing. The Thoreaus finally paid off the 
mortgage eleven years later in 1855. 

David Loring to John Thoreau - 

Know all men by these Presents, That 
I, David Loring of Concord in the County 
of Middlesex Commonwealth of Massachu- 
setts, in consideration of Twenty five 
dollars to me paid by John Thoreau, the 
receipt wherof is hereby acknowledged, 
do hereby give, grant, bargain, sell and 
convey unto the said Thoreau a certain 
tract of land lying in said Concord 
bounded as follows commencing at the South- 
easterly corner on a street ^nd by land of 
Nathan W. Brooks, running northerly on 
said Brook one hundred and seventy seven 
feet to a stake and stones, then westerly 
on land of the grantor one hundred and 
eighty feet to a stake and stones, then 
southerly on land of the grantor two hun- 
dred and five feet to said street, thence 

Easterly on said Street one hundred and 
seventy five feet to the bound first 
mentioned and containing about three 
fourths of an acres more or less. 

To have and to hold the above granted 
premises with the privileges and ap- 
purtenances thereto belonging, to the- said 
Thoreau, his heirs and assigns, to their 
use and behoof forever. And I the said 
Loring for myself and my heirs, executors 
and administrators, do covenant with the 
said Thoreau, his heirs and assigns that 
I lawfully seized in fee of the afore 
granted premises; that they are free 
from all incumbrances, that I have good 
right to sell and convey the same to the 
said Thoreau, his heirs and assigns forever 
against the lawful claims and demands of all 
persons . 

In witness whereof, the said David Loring 
and Susan F. Loring wife of said David in 
token of her relinquishment to right to Dower 
in the premises, have hereunto set our hands 
and seals this tenth day of September in the 
year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty 
four. Executed and delivered, David Loring 
(seal), Susan F. Loring (seal), 
in the presence of us, George Loring, Lydia A. 
Loring Middlesex ss. Sept. 10th, 1844. Then 
personally appeared the above named David 
Loring and acknowledged the above Instrument 
to his free (act) and deed, Before Me, 
Nathan Brooks, Justice of the Peace, 
Middlesex ss. Sept. 14, 1844. Rec'd& Recorded 
by Henry Stone (?), Reg. 

John Thoreau to Aug. Tuttle 

Know all Men by these Presents, That I, 
John Thoreau of Concord in the County of 
Middlesex and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 
Yeoman, in consideration of five hundred 
dollars paid by Augustus Tuttle of Concord 
aforesaid, Yeoman, the receipt whereof I do 
hereby acknowledge, do hereby give, grant, 
sell and convey unto the said Tuttle, a cer- 
tain tract of land lying in said Concord as 
follows, commencing at the southeasterly 
corner on a street and by land of Nathan W. 
Brooks, running northerly on said Brooks 
land one hundred and seventy seven feet to 
a stake & stones, thence westerly 1 on land 
of David Loring one hundred & eighty feet 
to a stake & stones, thence southerly on 
land of said Loring two hundred and five 
feet to said street, thence easterly on 
said street one hundred & seventy five feet 
to the bound first mentioned containing 
about three fourths of an acre with a dwell- 
ing house on the same. 

To Have and to Hold the aforegranted 
premises to the said Augustus Tuttle, his 
heirs and assigns to his and their use and 
behoof forever. And I do covenant with the 
said Tuttle his heirs and assigns, that I 
am lawfully seized in fee of the aforegrant- 
ed premises: that they are free of all in- 
cumbrances, that I have good right to sell 
and convey the same to the said Tuttle and 
that I will warrant and deferd: the same 
premises to the said Tuttle, his heirs & 
assigns forever, against the lawful claims 


and demands of all persons. Provided 
nevertheless, That if the said John Thoreau, 
his heirs, executors or administrators pay 
to the said Tuttle, his heirs, executors, 
administrators or assigns the sum of five 
hundred dollars in five years with interest 
semi-annually, then this deed as also a 
certain note of hand bearing even date 
wills these presents given by the said 
Thoreau to the said Tuttle to pay the same 
sum of five hundred dollars & interest at 
the time aforesaid shall both be void; 
otherwise shall remain in full force. In 
witness whereof, I the said John Thoreau 
with Cynthia wife of said John who hereby 
releases her right of Dower in the premis- 
es, have hereunto set our hands and seals 
this first day of September in the year of 
our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 
forty four. Signed, sealed and delivered 
in the presence of Helen L. Thoreau, Henry 
D. Thoreau - John Thoreau, (seal), Cynthia 
D. Thoreau (seal) Middlesex ss. September 
12th 1844. Then the above named John 
Thoreau acknowledged the above Instrument 
to be his free act and deed - before me, 
Nathan Brooks, Justice of Peace. 
Middlesex ss. Sept. 14, 1844, Rec 1 d & 
Recorded by Henry Stone (?) Reg. 

Know all men by these presents, That I 
Augustus Tuttle within named, in consider- 
ation of the full payment of the debt se- 
cured by the within mortgage by the within 
named John Thoreau the receipt whereof is 
hereby acknowledged do hereby release & 
quit-claim unto the said Thoreau the lands 
herein described and hold said Thoreau 
free & acquit from all & every claim that I 
may have upon him by virture of the within 
deed of Mortgagery the note secured there- 
by. Executed in presence of Geo. M. Brooks 
Middlesex ss Sept., 1855. Then personally 
appeared Augustus Tuttle and acknowledged 
the foregoing instrument to be his free 
act and deed. Before me Geo. M. Brooks, 
Jus. of Peace Cambridge, Feb. 11, 1856. 
Rec'd & Recorded by Cabel Hayden, Reg. 




The 1990 annual meeting of the society- 
will be held on Saturday, July 14, 1990, 
in the First Parish Church in Concord, 
Mass. Coffee and a social hour will begin 
at 9 a.m. The business meeting will start 
at 9:45. Thomas Planding will deliver the 
presidential address and it will be follow- 
ed by a concert-lecture conducted by Walter 
Harding and friends on "Musical Tributes 
to Thoreau." Saturday afternoon Jack Bor- 
den will speak on "Using Thoreau's Writings 
to Gain a Deeper Awareness of the Beauty 
and Wonder of the Sky"; there will be a 
forum on "Approaches to Teaching Thoreau"; 
and Marcia Moss will conduct her special 
tour of the Thoreau treasures in the Con- 
cord Free Public Library. In the evening 
Tom Potter will conduct a multi-media 
perspective on "Thoreau, the greatest 
Essay." On Friday evening, the 13th, 

Anne McGrath will speak at the church on 
"Henry Thoreau t Correspondent." And on 
Sunday morning, the 15th, Mary Sherwood, 
chairwoman of Walden Forever Wild, will 
conduct a nature walk at Walden Pond. 
At Saturday noon, a luncheon will be 
served at the church, and Saturday even- 
ing a supper will be served at the Ly- 
ceum. Tickets for each of these events 

are $12.00 apiece and reservations must be 
made in advance before Wednesday. July 11th , 
at the Thoreau Lyceum, 156 Belknap St., 
Concord, Mass. 01742 (Telephone: 508-369-5912, 

The nominating committee announces that 
their candidate for president at the annual 
election will be Dr. Edmund Schofield of 
Scituate, Mass. 




We welcome into being volume one, number 
January, 1990, issued by Bradley P. Dean 
(P.O.Box 562, Conner, Mont. 59827). It is 
a clearinghouse on research on Thoreau and 
will appear quarterly. Subscriptions are 
seven dollars. And may all its issues be 
as stimulating and interesting as this one. 

COLLECTORS' CORNER: Joseph Rubinfine 
(505 S. Flagler Dr., Suite 1301, W.Palm 
Beach, Fla. 33401 ) is offering the manuscript 
of Horace Greeley's letter of March 11, 1853 
to Thoreau for $2500. 

BOOKMAN'S PRICE INDEX, Vol. 39, lists the 
following recent sales: 1st of CAPE COD, $300, 
$100; Watson ed. of CAPE COD, $135, $200; 1st 
of EARLY SPRING, $150; 1st of EXCURSIONS, $150; 
SONS, $650; 1st of MAINE WOODS, $300; 1st of 
WALDEN, $3000; 1st English of WALDEN, $175, 
$450; 1st of WEEK, $2000, $225; MS Edition, 
$4000; 1st of YANKEE, $450, $275. AMERICAN 
BOOK PRICES CURRENT 1989 lists: 1st of CAPE 
COD (Rockwood Hoar's copy), $950; 1st of 
MAINE WOODS, $160; 1st of WALDEN, $2800, 
$600; 1st of WEEK, $2200; 1862 WEEK, $800; 
MS Edition, $2800, $2400. ALS, Nov. 15, 1850, 
T to Franklin Forbes, $4000; ALS, Feb. 2,1855, 
T to Sanborn, $6500; ALS, Mar. 8, 1857, T to 
Mary Brown, $5000. 

Composer John LaMontaine has recently donat- 
ed to the Thoreau Society Archives both a re- 
cording and the score of his beautiful "Wilder- 
ness Journal" based on a text from Thoreau. 
On Feb. 26, Anne McGrath, curator of our 
lyceum, lectured at West Concord Depot on 
Sophia Thoreau. 

May 24-6, Hellgate Writers (210 North 
Higgins, Missoula, MT 59802) will sponsor a 
conference on "In the Thoreau Tradition: Na- 
ture and the Written Word." Among the speak- 
ers will be Robert Richardson. 

At the July annual meeting, details of 
the gift of a remarkable collection of 
manuscripts relating to Thoreau and his 
New Bedford friend Daniel Ricketson, to 
the Thoreau Society archives by Ray E. 
Parmenter of Wrentham, Mass. will be an- 

Richard O'Connor is compiling a check- 
list of birds seen on the Walden Pond 
State Reservation and would appreciate 
receiving word of any unusual species 
seen thereon or learning of any check- 
lists of the birds of the reservation 
past or present. He should be addressed 
at the Thoreau Lyceum, 156 Belknap St., 
Concord, Mass. 01742, where many of you 
know him as a guide there. 

Thomas Blanding is conducting a seminar on 
Thoreau 's natural history essays at the Tho- 
reau Lyceum for eight weeks this spring. He 
also spoke on the conservation problems at 
Forum program for cable TV and public radio, 
broadcast widely in early February. 

Publicity over that controversy continues 
widespread. See, for example, HISTORIC PRE- 
Nov. 30, 1989; CONCORD JOURNAL, Dec. 21, 1989, 
Jan. 25, 1990, Feb. 1, 1990; AUDUBON MAGAZINE, 
Jan. 1990; POETS & WRITERS MAGAZINE, Jan. 1990; 
USA TODAY, Dec. 28, 1989, Jan. 3, 1990; and BOS- 
TON GLOBE, Dec. 20, 1989. 

The latest LAND'S END catalog quotes Tho- 
reaui "All good things are cheap; all bad 
very dear . " 

Bode (New York: Dial, 1977, p. 564) quotes a 
letter from Mencken to W.H.Archer: "Thoreau 
was an amusing fellow, and I agree with him 
in very large part. Nevertheless, I have 
never been able to convince myself that he 
was really profound. Unhappily, he has been 
horribly belabored by pinks of all sorts. I 
wish there were a really good edition of his 
writings." (Aug. 21, 1946). 

J.Miller has called to our attention that 
all photographs of Thoreau show white under the 
iris of the eye. In Japan this condition is 
known as Sanpaku and is supposed to indicate a 
tragically short life. 

On March 11, 1939, the novelist Scott Fitz- 
gerald wrote his daughter Scott ie, "After 
reading Thoreau I felt how much I have lost 
by leaving nature out of my life." (LETTERS, 
ed. by Andrew Turnbull (New York: Scribners, 
1963, p. 51). 

Charlotte Adams writes that she has recently 
come across a note among Raymond Adams' papers 
saying that in 1934 he interviewed Mrs. Mary 
Coughlin of Concord "whose mother worked for 
Mrs. Thoreau at the time Henry lived at Walden 
and while Mr. Thoreau was sick; in fact, the 
mother was married at the Thoreau house." A 
further indication of the Thoreau family's 
concern and interest in their Irish neighbors. 

A fish caught in Walden Pond recently was 
found to contain a gold, horseshoe-shaped 
diamond ring appraised at $600, according to 
the CONCORD JOURNAL for Feb. 1, 1990. We are 
quite sure it wasn't Henry's. 

Jonathan T. Grimes, a Minnesota nursery 
man, reports in his memoirs written in 1898: 
"During the sixties I had an unusual experience. 
Mr. Henry D. Thoreau, poet-naturalist, came to 
Minnesota on account of his health. He 
boarded with a Mrs. Hamilton who had an ex- 
clusive boarding house on the shore of Lake 
Calhoun . . . where many southern people had 

been guests before the war. As Mr. Thoreau 
was a lover of trees and flowers he often 
visited with me and one can imagine the 
pleasures Mr. Thoreau must have derived 
from roaming through Linden Hills when Lake 
Harriet was surrounded by a virgin forest." 
[from THE GRIMES FAMILY by May Agatha Grimes 
(Minneapolis: Lund, 1946, p. 20). It was 
Grimes, incidentally, who finally succeeded 
in showing Thoreau the wild crab apple. 

"At present I am reading my seventh vol- 
ume of Thoreau. The very richest of his 
thoughts I have struck yet. FAMILIAR LET- 
TERS, edited by Frank Sanborn. Wonderfully 
appealing, and brings one in closest touch 
with Thoreau as a fellow man. The book in- 
terprets a side of the philosopher which 
most biographers have purposely avoided, 
apparently to intensify their conception 
of the man as stoic. 

"FAMILIAR LETTERS tells you how inter- 
ested he was in the house cat, and what ten- 
derness he showed for his home people and 
his few friends. The letters are full of 
genuine pathos, not because they are pathe- 
tic, but because they are so tender, and so 

"Even in moments of intense grief, when 
he lost his favorite brother, 'John, ' his 
child friend, 'Waldo' (Emerson's oldest boy), 
and his own father, his letters are whole- 
some, so hopeful and uplifting, that one 
feels the more, perhaps, his profoundly 
deep Grief." — N.C.Wyeth, THE WYETHS (Boston: 
Gambit, 1971. p. 339. 

Marston Watson's Plymouth estate, Hillside, 
which Thoreau once surveyed, has now become 
a real estate development and one of its 
streets is labeled "Thoreau Road." 

A cartoon in the August 22, 1989 MIDDLE- 
SEX NEWS contrasts cranes (blue herons) 
that Thoreau saw at Walden with building 
cranes now seen there. 


On the next page we reproduce with the 
permission of the Concord Free Public Li- 
brary Dr. Edward Jarvis's map of the Mill- 
dam of Concord Village as it was in Tho- 
reau' s childhood. This is now the north- 
ern end of the main shopping district in 
Concord. As this map shows, the main 
street was then literally a milldam with 
a mill pond (now long since drained) be- 
hind the stores on the east side. The 
mill brook still crosses the area though 
it is now completely covered over where 
it crosses the street. 

Jarvis (1803-1884) was one of Concord's 
most distinguished citizens. A member of 
the Social circle, he became a widely 
known pioneer in the treatment of the men- 
tally ill, in the field of statistics, 
and in census-taking. A number of his 
manuscripts, including HOUSES & PEOPLE 
IN CONCORD, 1810-1820, from which this 
map is taken, are now in the Concord Free 
Public Library. 

Concord lAiilMa m_jS£pps 1810-1820 




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